Not a member?     Existing members login below:

Desperate Remedies

10. The Events Of A Day And Night
1. NOVEMBER THE TWENTY-EIGHTH. UNTIL TEN P.M.
Monday came, the day named for Mrs. Manston's journey from London to her
husband's house; a day of singular and great events, influencing the present and
future of nearly all the personages whose actions in a complex drama form the
subject of this record.
The proceedings of the steward demand the first notice. Whilst taking his
breakfast on this particular morning, the clock pointing to eight, the horse-and-gig
that was to take him to Chettlewood waiting ready at the door, Manston hurriedly
cast his eyes down the column of Bradshaw which showed the details and
duration of the selected train's journey.
The inspection was carelessly made, the leaf being kept open by the aid of one
hand, whilst the other still held his cup of coffee; much more carelessly than
would have been the case had the expected new- comer been Cytherea Graye,
instead of his lawful wife.
He did not perceive, branching from the column down which his finger ran, a
small twist, called a shunting-line, inserted at a particular place, to imply that at
that point the train was divided into two. By this oversight he understood that the
arrival of his wife at Carriford Road Station would not be till late in the evening: by
the second half of the train, containing the third-class passengers, and passing
two hours and three-quarters later than the previous one, by which the lady, as a
second-class passenger, would really be brought.
He then considered that there would be plenty of time for him to return from his
day's engagement to meet this train. He finished his breakfast, gave proper and
precise directions to his servant on the preparations that were to be made for the
lady's reception, jumped into his gig, and drove off to Lord Claydonfield's, at
Chettlewood.
He went along by the front of Knapwater House. He could not help turning to look
at what he knew to be the window of Cytherea's room. Whilst he looked, a
hopeless expression of passionate love and sensuous anguish came upon his
face and lingered there for a few seconds; then, as on previous occasions, it was
resolutely repressed, and he trotted along the smooth white road, again
endeavouring to banish all thought of the young girl whose beauty and grace had
so enslaved him.
Thus it was that when, in the evening of the same day, Mrs. Manston reached
Carriford Road Station, her husband was still at Chettlewood, ignorant of her
arrival, and on looking up and down the platform, dreary with autumn gloom and
wind, she could see no sign that any preparation whatever had been made for
her reception and conduct home.
The train went on. She waited, fidgeted with the handle of her umbrella, walked
about, strained her eyes into the gloom of the chilly night, listened for wheels,
tapped with her foot, and showed all the usual signs of annoyance and irritation:
she was the more irritated in that this seemed a second and culminating instance
of her husband's neglect--the first having been shown in his not fetching her.
 
 
Remove